Green Party: Cooperative agreement with Labour working 'exactly' how we hoped

By Marena Mane

After Labour's landslide victory in the 2019 general election, Labour and the Greens signed a cooperative agreement - one year ago, this week.

Marama Davidson, the Greens co-leader, has been appointed associate minister for housing, homelessness, and the prevention of family and sexual abuse, while fellow leader James Shaw has been retained as climate change minister, outside the cabinet.

Davidson says the cooperative agreement is working exactly how she had hoped, with both Shaw and herself progressing with their ministerial portfolios with their distinct Green kaupapa at the forefront.

“In a few weeks, I'm really proud to be able to launch an amazing strategy to eliminate family violence and sexual violence,” she says.

“So that's exactly what we set out to be able to do, some good work with Labour ministers, while also upholding our independent green kaupapa.”

UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26)

Shaw is in Glasgow, Scotland for the COP 26 conference, and Davidson says it is critical he emphasises to world leaders the need to reduce emissions to maintain the planet's stability for future generations.

“James has an important role to push for New Zealand, Aotearoa and other countries to do their fair share. But it really is going to take a lot to redistribute power and resources and to change the system to one that is far kinder to our planet.”

She says the result depends on people all over the world banding together, to persuade international leaders to implement a meaningful plan to decrease emissions and save the earth from warming beyond 1.5 degrees celsius.

“That is the pressure that indigenous peoples, that grassroots activists, can really place on our leaders. It has been quite difficult to get the big levers moved that we really need to see, for example, in methane emissions,” says Davidson. 

Family and Sexual violence strategy

The launch of a new family and sexual violence strategy is coming up next month, and Davidson is proud of the hard work put into the draft over the last year, in which tangata whenua, community leadership, public sector agencies, and ministers are working together to bring about change.

“We cannot continue to do things the way that we have been, that has failed to move and reduce the prevalence of harm in our whānau and communities,” she says.

The new strategy prioritises prevention and relies on strong relationships to ensure that paths are established and followed, says Davidson.

“So, I can't wait to show it all to you at the beginning of December,” she says.